The Environment Protection Authority of Victoria has granted a works approval for a new gas processing facility proposed by company ESSO at Longford in Gippsland, in a decision that has shocked environmentalists and local community members.
The facility is designed to remove excess carbon dioxide and mercury from gas streams to allow the company to access new gas fields off Ninety Mile Beach. In doing so, the facility will release an additional one million tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions.
Environment Victoria’s Safe Climate Campaign Manager Victoria McKenzie-McHarg said today:
“We’re deeply disappointed that the EPA has approved this new facility that will increase the state’s emissions by one million tonnes a year.
“Victoria along with the rest of the world must urgently reduce greenhouse pollution, yet the government agency charged with protecting our environment and Victorians has just approved an increase in pollution.
“Families and businesses across the state are doing their bit to cut pollution, yet this approval will make the task of cutting emissions and avoiding the worst impacts of climate change that much harder.
“Victoria urgently needs a clean energy policy that will drive down the state’s greenhouse pollution and pave the way for clean investment and job growth.
Local community member and paediatrician Jo McCubbin said today:
“Neighbours have been putting up with this hazardous facility for decades, and are sick and tired of the smoke, noise and chemical smells that escape beyond the boundary of the facility already.
“We are concerned that yet another add-on will increase the escape of toxics to the environment and surrounding farmland.
“Just in the last few years we’ve had more floods, fires and coastal erosion than I’ve ever seen before. The EPA needs to take climate change seriously, and approving an increase of one million tonnes of greenhouse pollution doesn’t reflect these concerns.”